Peripheral Neuropathy Made Simple

What is peripheral neuropathy is a question with a simple answer. It is damage to the nerves responsible for sending signals from the brain or spinal cord to the rest of the body. The peripheral nerves originate from the spinal cord running in lines along the body. They include nerves to the skin, muscles and internal organs. Peripheral neuropathy hand and feet symptoms are the most common.


When disease or damage to any of these nerves occurs, the result is peripheral neuropathy or peripheral neuropathyicd 9. The more nerves that are damaged the more peripheral neuropathy symptoms people can expect experience. Some of the symptoms are pain, burning, tingling, unfamiliar sensations and numbness. The arms and legs are the most commonly affected part of the body.

There are three classifications of peripheral neuropathy based on the causes and the symptoms.


This type of peripheral neuropathy causes damage to a single nerve. The most common cause is trauma, injury, repetitive actions and prolonged pressure on the nerve. Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the best-known type’s mononeuropathy.


The majority of neuropathy cases fall into this category. Causes include poor nutrition, chemical exposure and complications from diseases. Along with the common symptoms, it can make people unable to sense temperature.

Autonomic Neuropathy

This type of neuropathy is a rare condition affecting the nerves leading to the internal body organs. Low blood pressure readings and excessive sweating often accompany this type of neuropathy.

The medical community has three categories of peripheral neuropathy causes. In some cases, genetics pass on the disease throughout families. Acquired is caused by certain chemical exposures or disease. When no cause is determined, it is termed as idiopathic.

The focus of peripheral neuropathy treatment is controlling the underlying cause and relieve the symptoms. Medications include anti-seizure medication, pain relievers, and immune system suppressants. Capsaicin cream can help relieve the discomfort. Derived naturally from hot peppers, it initially burns when applied. Some people are unable to tolerate the heat of heat cream.

Peripheral neuropathy treatment includes the use of a TENS unit. It sends currents of electricity to the affected nerves. Another method of suppressing the immune system is plasma exchange intravenous immune globulin therapy. Physical therapy is often successful, while others may need a wheel chair, cane, walker or braces. Peripheral neuropathy symptoms caused by pressure on a nerve may require surgery to alleviate the pressure.